Cathryn and John Sill have quite the collection of nature titles to their credit. The husband and wife team have written and illustrated over 19 books together in their About… and About Habitats… series.
Their latest book, a second edition of the infamous A Field Guide to Little-Known and Seldom-Seen Birds of North America, written in collaboration with John’s brother Ben, is only a slight departure from their normal fare. While it does delve into nature and our feathered friends (a favorite topic of theirs), this title takes a look at the seldom seen birds…the imaginary, fictitious and downright ridiculous avian figments of the Sills’ imaginations.
Avid birders themselves, the Sills have a wealth of knowledge on birds (both real and imagined). Welcome to the blog, Cathryn and John!
|John and Cathryn visiting our offices this summer!|
Ben: Our family always was interested in birds – feeding them, watching, and we always had a pair of binoculars around. My favorite thing about birding now??? Well it is probably a couple of things – 1) seeing a new bird (my North America list is about 515 so it is hard to find new birds in North America), and 2) watching bird behavior is increasingly interesting. Feeding, grooming, flocks flying, etc.
Ben: I do have a favorite bird – the Swallow-tailed Kite. This majestic bird is my favorite for several reasons – it is large – hawk sized and thus easy to view; its markings are as striking as any bird I know; and its feeding habits – catching insects on the wing – AND eating them on the wing. It is uncommon in the states so to see one is a double treat.
Cathryn and John: When we were traveling on road trips, we would make up bird species to pass the time. We would often see something that would trigger an idea, write the idea on a scrap of paper and stuff it in the glove compartment of the car. One day as we were sharing the ideas with John’s brother Ben, he entered into the fun and added his ideas. He looked at us and said “We should write a book!” And the rest is history. The three of us each have a different sense of humor so we were able to work together to have a well-balanced book that hopefully appeals to many different people.
Ben: My favorite bird from the Field Guide (although several would vie closely for the prize) would probably be the Southern Snake Strangler.